Saturday 16 October 2021

This Side of the Pond

Welcome to a cloudy south Manchester on the east side of the pond on day 90 since our clown Prime Minister removed almost all Covid-19 restrictions. 

Today we are driving to Chester to visit some friends. It’s a lovely little city that isn’t too far away (about 30 minutes) and is a haven for foreign and domestic tourists alike. I particularly like the Roman Walls surrounding the city centre and you can have a lovely walk around them. They were built by the Romans in 75 AD so they have been around for a long, long time. 

We won’t be walking around the walls today; instead we will be visiting a pub or two and having a nice meal.

In the meantime, let’s answer some silly questions that originate from the west side of the pond, on Sunday Stealing

1. What's something you've recently accomplished solo?

I’ve been trying to teach myself Spanish for a while now and I reckon I could live in a Spanish town or city and make myself understood for the essential things in life. Having a deep conversation with a Spaniard would be very difficult though – and in that sense I haven’t really accomplished the task yet – far from it in fact. What I really need to do is go to a class and actually start having conversations with Spanish people. There are a couple of places in Manchester where I can do this but finding the time at the moment is difficult. It will happen when I retire though. 

This is really an ongoing self—improvement process.

2.  What's one product you use that never ever fails?

There are quite a few things that never fail – like the TV, the microwave oven, my iPod. You watch – all three of the items I mentioned will fail miserably now.

3. Have you found your place in the world? Where is it?

I think so. I am very happy to spend the rest of my life here in Manchester, travelling apart of course. If this question doesn’t really mean a physical place, then I guess I will find that too when I retire. I’m currently in a place that I am fed up of when it comes to my career – but once that’s over, I will be seeking a new place that hopefully I will find fairly soon.

4.  Worst movie you ever saw?

I would say that Sharknado is probably the worst but it is so bad that it is brilliantly funny. If you haven’t seen the film – here is the trailer.

Believe it or not, they have made five sequels and the names kind of tell you that it is very tongue in cheek:

Sharknado 2: The Second One 

Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!

Sharknado: The 4th Awakens 

Sharknado 5: Global Swarming 

The Last Sharknado: It's About Time

The worst film I have seen that is meant to be serious is Lincoln. I watched it on a long haul flight because it won so many Oscars but it was truly awful and it bored me to tears. I would rather watch all the Sharknado movies than have to endure that again.

5. What's the last fun thing you did?

We went to visit my eldest son in Prestwich, North Manchester last night to see how he and his girlfriend are settling in, in their new house. They have bought a house that needs some work and they are slowly chipping away at it. Every time we see it, there is a massive improvement. It will be great when they have finished it. We went out to a restaurant and had a fun time with them.

6. What's your favourite Italian dish?

I love most Italian dishes but I will put forward lasagne as my favourite for now. Ask me next week and it will be something else.

7. Have you ever been to France? Any desire to visit there, and if so what would site or city would you most want to see?

I have been to France many times and I love the place so my desire to visit there is still ever-present. I speak French well enough to make myself understood, which is almost essential really, particularly in Paris. 

I am lucky really because Mrs PM speaks French really well and can easily hold a conversation with a French person. She lived in Toulouse for a year, while studying for her degree at university.

I have been to a few cities, including Paris, Bordeaux, Monte Carlo (which is really in Monaco but let’s not split hairs), Cannes, Nice, Lyon, Calais, Collioure and Antibes as well as a few northern towns. My favourite city is Nice – it is beautiful and is a great base for exploring the area. 

We will definitely go back there in the near future.

8. Have you ever been to Disney, any of the parks at all? Are you a Disney superfan or something less than that? They're open right now so tell us, would you go if you had the time/money/a free trip?

I have been to Disneyland in Paris and California as well as Disneyworld in Florida. 

I am not really that big a fan of Disney; I like the cartoons but I can take or leave them. To be honest, Disney is huge now and has engulfed lots of other franchises such as Star Wars abnd the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I have to admit that my favourite of those franchises is the Marvel Cinematic Universe – I absolutely love the movies. 

Would I go to one of the parks now? Probably not – I’ve been there, seen that and done that. 

9. Your favourite place to go when you want to be quiet as a church mouse? Would those who know you well describe you as more church mouse or perhaps more like mighty mouse?

When I want to be as quiet as a church mouse I would just stay home in the room I am in at the moment. It’s not exactly quiet because I always have music on when I am in this room but it works for me when the introvert inside takes over (as it has now). 

I think people who know me well would describe as mighty mouse (if that is the opposite of a church mouse) because I can be quite loud when I want to be. When I am in the mood to see people (which is often) I unleash the extrovert within and love to have a good laugh with people – even in the office with work colleagues. I struggle to take things seriously and even when work is demanding I like to provide some light relief from time to time by just acting like a complete pratt.

10. Do you bake your own bread? Last time you had hot out-of-the-oven homemade bread? What's your favourite kind of bread?

I have never baked my own bread. The last time I had hot-out-of-the-oven bread was when Mrs PM tried to make some during lockdown. She did a good job to be honest. The best hot-out-of-the-oven bread I have had was at a small bakery shop in Nice, France. We were staying in an apartment and we popped there every morning for bread, croissants, pain aux raisins and when feeling naughty, pan au chocolate. They were divine.

My favourite kind of bread? I love thick white toasty bread – but I eat all kinds really.

11. What's something you might say is 'the greatest thing since sliced bread'?

Smartphones. I love them. It is like having your own portable computer and I would be lost without it.

12.  Share with us five little things you're grateful for today. Small blessings. One catch-they all must start with the letter T.





Travelling to Chester

13. Tell us where you were and something about what life was like when you were 20- 21.

I was a student at the University of Liverpool and living near to the centre of that wonderful city. I love Liverpool and it is close enough for me to go back and visit it on a fairly regular basis (it is about 30 miles to the west of Manchester). Being a student I was sharing a place with seven other guys so we had a great life with lots of student-related fun being pursued. Of course, I was also studying hard and left university with a Bsc Honours degree that has set me up for a great life since. 

My three years in Liverpool were probably the best years of my life.

14. What's on the menu at your house this week?

We will probably have a traditional Sunday lunch on Sunday but for the rest of the week, I imagine that there will be steak, salmon stir-fry, chicken pasta, perhaps a curry, maybe meatballs and possibly something a little more special on Friday.

15.Something you recently purchased where a coupon was involved? Do you regularly shop with coupons? 

I can’t remember the last time I bought something with a coupon if I’m honest so the answer is that I rarely shop with coupons. 


Elephant's Child said...

You can go out? You can visit people? You can eat in restaurants? Lucky you. We are inching towards those lucky states.

Bev Sykes said...

I didn't realize there were that many Sharknado movies. I saw the first two and you're right--very stupid!

Pandora Behr said...

How could I forget toast - yes, toast is the best.

I wish I lived near Liverpool - to be honest, I can't wait to get back to England.

Good post.


Songbird said...

Your description of all those breads made me hungry!

Jodi said...

I have to agree... Sharknado, that was bad!! Happy Sunday!

Me, Myself, and I said...

I really miss not having had the "University" experience...I was an idgit and got married. Ah well, ended up with the degrees anyway, and had an interesting life, but I remember going to visit a friend at Virginia Tech, and thinking, "well, I really effed that up" (not going to Uni). Have a wonderful day!

Kwizgiver said...

When I visited Spain, I had a travel book called "Just Enough Spanish" that helped me immensely! Otherwise, my stock phrase was No habla.

CountryDew said...

I hope you have a good visit with your son. I said computers and cellphones, too. They are good inventions, but social media has made them poorly used.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

I always feel guilty posting about what we can do compared to our Australian buddies.

You will get there - soon hopefully.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Bev,

Another one appeared since I last checked. Let's hope it is the last one.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pand,

Drop me a line if you ever come over.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Songbird,

You would have loved them.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Jodi,

Indeed - I have never been tempted to watch the others.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Me, Myself and I,

It was very good but quite tiring at university. Definitely worth it.

Well done getting your degrees anyway.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Kwizgiver,

"No entiendo" is a good phrase as is "más lentamente, por favor".

Spaniards speak so quickly I can barely understand them.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi CD,

I agree about social media - I try to avoid it really. Some people can be quite nasty on it.